Redox oops
March 6, 2013 9:48 PM   Subscribe

I accidentally rinsed my contacts with hydrogen peroxide. Can I still wear them tomorrow?

When taking out my contacts, I accidentally grabbed the bottle of hydrogen peroxide instead of saline solution and covered the contacts with it. I immediately realized what I did, and took the contacts out of the liquid, rinsed the case with saline (I use a no rub multipurpose solution) and put the contacts in the saline.

Googling seems to imply that I should be okay if they're thoroughly rinsed, but I'd like to make sure. I figure overnight in saline plus a good rinse in the morning should be okay. I really don't want to toss them because I just opened a new pack, and am visiting family and don't have spares with me.
posted by DoubleLune to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
If by hydrogen peroxide you mean a Clear Care/Aosept-type product, I've made a similar mistake and had no major issue. Do make sure your rinsing is quite thorough. Seriously.
posted by boombot at 10:05 PM on March 6, 2013

Yeah, I've done this. Gave them a good rinse and soak and they were fine.

(Consider yourself lucky that you realized your mistake before putting the contact in your eye. Because I did not, and oh boy.)
posted by no regrets, coyote at 10:05 PM on March 6, 2013

They're most likely fine. Clear Care, one of the better contact lens cleaning solutions on the market, is actually 3% hydrogen peroxide which gets neutralized in a special case overnight. They just recommend thorough rinsing with saline if you need to put in your contacts before the H2O2 is neutralized.

Of course, if you can actually feel the contacts in your eyes tomorrow, it's probably a good idea to go pick up a new box ASAP; pretty much all retailers will be able to confirm your prescription with your eye doctor over the phone.
posted by halogen at 10:06 PM on March 6, 2013

As an side note, multipurpose solution is not saline. Maybe I'm misreading the way in which you're referring to the two.
posted by boombot at 10:10 PM on March 6, 2013

Best answer: When you put in the lens, be prepared to take it out immediately if it burns/stings; you'll know as soon as it goes in. I would totally try to put it in my eye based on what you've described (I use Clear Care and have tried to cut the time short before) but the remaining hydrogen peroxide might not oxidize enough by morning without the platinum catalyst in the Clear Care type case.
posted by zizania at 10:15 PM on March 6, 2013

Best answer: i've done this more than once. Soak overnight, rinse again in the morning, it'll be fine.
posted by empath at 10:41 PM on March 6, 2013

Do you have a pair of glasses tha you can wear if your eyes start to feel uncomfortable? I doubt that you'll do serious damage to your eyes without feeling the burn first.

Soak and rinse, and have a plan b. I've done dumber.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 12:09 AM on March 7, 2013

Best answer: As a data point, I use Clear Care, and when I've run out of solution, I've used the regular 3% hydrogen peroxide I had sitting around instead, with my Clear Care neutralizing case. Worked just fine. Since you presumably don't have a neutralizing case, soaking and a few extra rinses should leave your lenses perfectly wearable, as you have probably discovered by now.
posted by catatethebird at 5:23 AM on March 7, 2013

Response by poster: Yeah it was good old CVS brand 3% hydrogen peroxide. Rinsed thoroughly this morning and they felt fine, thanks for the reassurance.
posted by DoubleLune at 8:22 AM on March 7, 2013

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